Ideas collected in 2019 regarding BPHA site planning
During August 2019, we asked members for input and ideas regarding improving our Rec Centre (we held two town hall meetings under the gazebo, we invited input via the weekly e-newsletter and at the produce stand). The parameters, at the time, were for ideas to guide long term thinking for facility development. Specifically, we asked about:
- Ideas to improve utilization of existing space; how do we make the most of what we’ve got? (e.g. sandboxes, repurposing space under pines)
- Managing shade (e.g. specific placement & planting of 2 new shade trees in fall of 2018; our 3 new umbrellas; our deteriorating Norway maple)
- Storage and waste management (e.g. our shed is crammed full; we now have 4 deck boxes on site to provide relief storage)
- Other thoughts & ideas for consideration in a long-term plan
Hopefully, these ideas will help stimulate YOUR thoughts and ideas for the future of our Rec Centre.
- Overall, the most frequent comments had to do with landscaping, tree planting and managing shade. Verbatims follow:
- “plant more trees on upper hill for shade”
- “Replant tree at tennis bleachers”
- “ask City to continue planting line of trees in Green space behind rec centre & tennis courts”
- “Prune large pine at rear of rec centre so it does not drop needles into pool”
- “Remove both large pines at rear of property: replant with large deciduous tree or use shade sail to create canopy for play area”
- “plant something along chain link fence to improve the look of the perimeter. Examples included ivy, or 2-3 groupings of cedars, to create a nicer landscaped look.”
- “plant more trees (in strategic/shade positions). Reduce grass on hillside, substitute drought resistant ground cover & mulch. Add more armor stone”
- “create terraces/ amphitheater effect on hillside with stone and mulch and sedums/groundcover” - ‘eliminate mowing’
- Build on the ‘new’ play area that Deborah has created at the rear of the property: do we need the two pines? Assess the pros & cons. Think about appropriate playground surface: perhaps some kind of rubberized tile vrs simply extending the current gazebo flooring.
- During 2nd townhall when we floated the idea of creating a shade ‘pergola’ along the tennis chain-link fence: the response was one of interest and the idea was built upon with the notion of a ‘permanent’ shelter for the guard station…. Both built in the same style/material, etc. Several members noted that the current umbrella is inadequate, since it frequently blows over into the pool, despite its size and the extra weights on its base. One member wondered about planting wisteria at pergola base.
- “create ‘muddy field’ play area for little kids vrs the current collection of little tykes equipment. Key elements include dirt, mud & waterplay a la Dufferin Grove Park in Toronto.”
- “create gate behind gazebo for easier access to use green space; recommend a large gate to allow picnic tables or small vehicles to fit through”
- “work with City & neighbourhood volunteers to create a Community garden in green space. Ask City to donate some of the green space land, directly behind rec centre to us to establish & maintain a butterfly/pollinator garden.”
- “reduce parking lot size”: creating space for more storage? More play areas? Etc
- “invest in proper bike racks”: possibly ask members about sourcing or donations (this item was echoed by several members).
- “label recycling boxes more clearly; rearrange bike racks (alongside fence?); perhaps newer model bike racks with higher support?”
- “make our rec centre a ‘zero waste’ facility; ‘if you bring it in you have to take it out’. We currently send a mixed message regarding our family BBQs & potlucks- by providing plates we are ‘training’ members NOT to bring their own dishes and making clean-up work for the guards & volunteers.”
- Can we improve the sink area for staff: hot water? More counter spaces?
- “as a past pool director, lifeguard shade umbrellas have always been a problem due to the wind. Perhaps a canopy tent that would not restrict the guards’ vision on the pool deck? The planting of more trees is a good idea however tree roots & pool pipes can be an issue. Child friendly mulch for the playground under the pine trees might work. A stand holding recycle bins could be situated outside the girl’s washroom & I think used baby diapers should be disposed of at home. Years ago, we had a composter on site. The community center looks awesome! Thanks to the many volunteers.”
- “Could we add a ramp near the front stairs (near parking lot) to increase accessibility for strollers, wagons, walkers, etc?”
- Tennis area: ‘can we relocate the benches, so they form one long bench in section nearest the sign in station?’. Or brainstorm other configurations to allow for members to sit together as a group? There was a build on this suggestion that discussed the ideas of removing the existing old hedge, replacing it with privacy lattice, creating more space for seating on one side and more space for bike racks on the other...
- Re-organizing interior of shed: can we make & label places for all items so that everything goes back where it belongs, making it easier for all to utilize that space? ‘Can we use photos to show what should be stored & where- then we are all on the same wavelength?’
- A member, a former electrician expressed some concerns about our 2 electrical panels advising:
- the one in the pump room should not have a shelf in front of it;
- the one in the shed should have a GFI at the duplex receptacle and the panel itself may need a GFI.
We will refer these suggestions/concerns to our Maintenance Director.
- Some other ideas that have been discussed over the years:
- Clear plastic “drop walls” for gazebo. These would be dropped during inclement weather/wind etc; left rolled up/retracted during good weather.
- Surveillance system for site: cameras that are connected to a monitoring system or are just ‘dummies’; motion detectors for lights; self-monitoring, wifi driven system.